You’d never know we were in the midst of an economic recession judging from the crowds at the Park Meadows Mall yesterday. It more resembled the Saturday before Christmas. We drove around for almost 10 minutes looking for a parking spot. It was ridiculous.
I’ve never really been a huge fan of the mall. I’ll go occasionally to shop, but it’s far from my favorite place to spend my time. Yesterday as I walked into the mall, I was hit hard with the materialism of our culture. We entered through the food court and literally every single table was full. There were long lines at all of the restaurants and strollers and shopping bags everywhere. I suddenly got really sad. I wondered how many in the crowds of shoppers had any idea what the rest of the world is dealing with right now. And if they are aware, do they care?
It’s hard for me to believe that many people would be so calloused that they would willingly ignore the needs of so many suffering people. I actually had a moment where I saw myself standing on a chair in the food court and yelling, “How can you just eat and shop like normal?! Do you guys have any idea what’s going on in Haiti? How kids get one meal a day and that’s just if they’re lucky? What is wrong with you?”
Of course I didn’t do that. I just walked through the food court and continued shopping. But I couldn’t really enjoy the day because I kept thinking about Youvens. And about whether I should feel guilty about the $40 hat I bought. Where do I draw the line? Does being a good steward of my money mean buying only the necessities and giving the rest away? Or is it okay to spend money on something I don’t need if I regularly give money to the poor?
I think maybe I got a tiny understanding of what fired up the Old Testament prophets. Have you ever had a “prophet” moment like this? I’m struggling now with what I’m supposed to do with my experience yesterday. I have no doubt the Holy Spirit was the One convicting me. But what do I do now?